Optimmune ophthalmic ointment is a sterile ocular ointment that comprises cyclosporine, a beneficial component for addressing keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), commonly known as dry eye, in dogs. This ointment serves to diminish inflammation, encourage the production of tears, and mitigate harm to the tear glands.
Uses and Dosage
Clear away debris using appropriate, non-irritating solutions. Administer a 0.6 cm strip (equivalent to 1/4 inch) of ointment to the affected eye every 12 hours. The ointment can be applied directly onto the cornea or within the conjunctival sac.
For dogs displaying chronic, recurring conjunctivitis, evaluate tear production to determine if early stages of chronic keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) are present.
The duration of treatment hinges on the severity of the condition and the response observed. Clinical experience with KCS indicates that more than 90% of dogs will require ongoing treatment. For optimal outcomes in managing keratoconjunctivitis sicca, initiate cyclosporine A administration early in the disease’s progression, before irreversible damage and fibrosis affect the lacrimal tissue.
The majority of dogs afflicted with KCS or chronic superficial keratitis (CSK) will likely necessitate lifelong and consistent treatment. In CSK cases, as factors like ultraviolet (UV) radiation contribute to the condition’s development, symptoms may diminish during winter months with reduced light intensity, or if the dog is indoors or at a lower altitude, leading to less UV radiation exposure.
Should cyclosporine treatment prove ineffective, reevaluate the diagnosis and explore alternative treatment options. Regular assessments are advised.
To effectively evaluate treatment response, it’s recommended to assess tear production approximately 3 hours after administering the ointment. This timing aligns with the peak concentration of cyclosporine within the cornea.
Side effects may include:
- redness of the eyes
- watery eyes
- eye discomfort – rubbing or “pawing” at the face or eyes
- eyelid squinting or excessive blinking
- redness or swelling of the eyelids
- hair loss around the eyes
The clinical impacts of cyclosporine have not been ascertained in dogs with keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) due to various conditions, including congenital alacrima, use of sulfonamide, canine distemper virus infection, metabolic disorders, surgical removal of the third eyelid gland, and facial nerve paralysis resulting in loss of the palpebral reflex. Some of the root causes for chronic idiopathic KCS could be transient (like facial trauma) or remediable through appropriate treatment.
When transitioning to cyclosporine from another treatment approach (such as frequent application of artificial tear preparations) for KCS or chronic superficial keratitis (CSK), note that immediate clinical efficacy may not be evident upon starting cyclosporine therapy. Several days to a few weeks might be required before the clinical effects of cyclosporinet become significant enough to consider tapering off previously initiated therapy.
Abrupt discontinuation of a treatment immediately after beginning cyclosporine can lead to rapid recurrence of clinical symptoms, which could mistakenly be attributed to an adverse reaction to the ointment.
The safety of cyclosporine has not been established in cases of preexisting viral or fungal ocular infections. In such scenarios, it’s recommended to delay therapy until the fungal or viral ocular infection has been successfully treated.
The safety of using cyclosporine in puppies, pregnant bitches, or breeding dogs has not been determined.
In rare instances, applying cyclosporine may cause a stinging sensation. Given that the eyes of dogs with chronic KCS often exhibit significant inflammation, distinguishing whether this stinging is indicative of hypersensitivity to the drug or the anticipated discomfort from introducing a foreign substance into an extensively diseased eye can be challenging. If this stinging persists beyond 7 days, hypersensitivity to the medication should be considered, prompting a reevaluation of treatment options.
Form and Strength
Optimmune is available in the following forms and strengths:
cyclosporine eye ointment:
How long does a tube of Optimmune last?
The length of time this medication lasts depends on the severity of the infection, the type of infection, and the number of times they need dosing. Customers have reported that it can last as long as six weeks.
How quickly does Optimmune work?
Optimmune can take a little time to show results. It can take up to two weeks after starting treatment for you to see any difference visually.